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Thread: 4 inch bench vice restoration

  1. #1
    olderdan's Avatar
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    4 inch bench vice restoration

    The house next door was sold for refurbishment and after looking in the builders skip for anything useful I noticed a piece of steel poking out of the rubble, pulling it out I was amazed to find it to be an old bench vice that had been thrown out, I just had to rescue the poor thing as to many vices get miss treated these days. It had not been used much, just left in a leaking garage and very rusty so an electrolysis bath and a strip down was the first step. The strip down proved to be difficult as I could not shift the acme nut in the body as it was dovetailed, peened over and pinned into the fixed part of the vice, determined to separate the two halves I had to make a cut out in the rear of the sliding jaw to clear the nut, as this would normally limit the opening of the jaws I would have to provide some other means to replace this function, tapping the end of the screw for a stop washer sorted that out.
    After cleaning and two coats of paint I now had a good as new vice. It took about a week of spare time but I enjoy this kind of thing.
    I have found a rotating base handy in the past and I have a steel plate that I had planned to make a 3 point steady for my lathe no longer needed, so when I find it I will complete the job and it will replace my long suffering 3 inch one that will get the same refurb treatment.

    4 inch bench vice restoration-screen-shot-02-10-18-12.33-pm-001.jpg

    4 inch bench vice restoration-untitled.jpg

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  3. #2
    jjr2001's Avatar
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    Nice job Dan, looks like new.
    Cheers, JR

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    olderdan (02-22-2018)

  5. #3
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    olderdan you are a man after my own heart
    You wouldn't believe it was the same vice. I also like this type of refurb.
    I hope you don’t mind me asking but what paint did you use? nice finish
    Great skip diving.
    The Home Engineer

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    olderdan (02-22-2018)

  7. #4
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    I too enjoy 'tuning' vises. Probably sold off/ traded 80% of them over the years, maybe 40 total. My favorite peeves; backlash where the jaw doesn't retract with rotation of the screw, and the screw + handle with too much clearance to hold it's setting while loading or re-positioning a part. I like a bench vise to work like a mill vise.
    Fixing those is usually easy; sometimes.
    First, insure the screw is straight.
    Sleeve the pilot to fit the slide bore, flanged with a washer of thickness equal to the backlash - minus a couple thousandths. I've had bronze and a thin steel shim washer, hard copper or just solid mild steel. Avoid materials that gall like stainless steel.
    Before assembling, find a sturdy coil spring with ID that fits screw OD, short enough to fit between stationary jaw and inside of slide with bushing in place.
    Lube with bearing grease and assemble. Moving jaw will now advance or retract with barest rotation of screw AND hold any position you leave it in

    Maybe a half dozen times, slide face not machined square [a spotface, more or less] enough to operate well with reduced clearance. You'll need a good sized 4 jaw, or mill & facing head, or rotary table & angle plate to correct it.

    Again another facet of Toolmaking; measure and engineer processes to remedy unsatisfactory mechanical action.
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 02-21-2018 at 09:39 PM.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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  9. #5
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    Beautiful restoration - on an solid little 3" vise. I can't believe how nicely it cleaned up and shines. (I better look into electrolysis a bit more).
    -
    I just popped a couple photos of a 6" woodworking vise I pulled off a beat-up workbench, in the garage of an estate sale (Gave $10.00 for it). It had equal parts grease 'n grime - and rust. Wish I had documented the restore, but the wife thought I was crazy for buying it.

    Didn't think I'd ever get the bench dog pop-up to free up.) Lots of soap and water, rust chelator (that cost more than the vise), TLC, and Krylon (to make it look better). I also added the thrust washer visible in the pic, to take out the excess play in the screw. (I've yet to build a bench around it.)

    Name:  Picture 97x250.jpg
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    Name:  Picture 101x250.jpg
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Size:  33.3 KB

    I should mention that the colors in the pics, just aren't right. It's actually a deep burgundy, in color (over a lighter, brighter, 'flat' red, that acted as an excellent primer for the top coat.)
    Last edited by Scotsman Hosie; 02-22-2018 at 02:38 AM. Reason: add detail about color.

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  11. #6
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    Thanks olderdan! We've added your Bench Vise Restoration to our Vises category,
    as well as to your builder page: olderdan's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  12. #7
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks Scotsman Hosie! We've added your Woodworking Vise Restoration to our Vises category,
    as well as to your builder page: Scotsman Hosie's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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  14. #8
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    Hi Home Engineer,
    After using every type of paint over the years I have settled on a synthetic enamel from Paragon Paints from https://www.stationaryengineparts.com/Paragon-Paints/. Never been a fan of spray cans, they are so wasteful so I brush paint most of my motorcycle parts with this stuff.
    It flows beautifully with no brush marks and dries nicely hard. RAL colours too.
    4 inch bench vice restoration-imgp0021.jpg
    Last edited by olderdan; 02-22-2018 at 07:44 AM. Reason: spelling

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  16. #9
    olderdan's Avatar
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    Nice job on that vice even if you did it the hard way.
    There is some posts here on electrolysis, I just use a 12v car battery with a charger connected to keep up the amps. Best part is it will remove paint and free up all those bolts and seized parts as well.

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  18. #10
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    "Thanks Scotsman Hosie! We've added your Woodworking Vise Restoration to our Vises category,
    as well as to your builder page:
    Scotsman Hosie's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:"
    -
    I realized - after the fact - that I should've made this a separate forum post - as opposed to a reply. So I appreciate you doing that for me. Thanks again.
    Last edited by Scotsman Hosie; 02-22-2018 at 11:17 AM.

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